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Art sale to raise funds for a worthy cause


When renowned South Australian artist Pip Comport died in October 2023, he left an impressive collection of art behind. In a touching act of generosity, his daughter Georgina Halliday donated her father’s paintings and lino prints to Manresa Circle of Friends.

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The result is an art exhibition and sale to raise money to help support refugees and asylum seekers.

“We have about 400 pieces of artwork which Georgina donated to us,” says Gloria Sanderson from Manresa Circle of Friends.

“She told us to put it into a garage sale, but we couldn’t possibly do that so we’re going to display them in this exhibition instead.”

To be held in St Ignatius Church Hall, the exhibition kicks off on Friday February 23 and runs until Sunday February 25.

Gloria says it’s a wonderful chance for art lovers to get their hands on a piece created by the late artist who died at the age of 101.

“He had a house full of artwork and Georgina donated it to us because she knew that we fundraise,” she explains. “It was a very generous gift.”

Landscape by Pip Comport.

Landscape by Pip Comport.

After retiring from a career as a chartered surveyor and commercial property consultant during his fifties, UK-born Pip was a prolific artist for more than four decades. He had his last solo exhibition in Adelaide at the age of 93 and his work is on show at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Pip was also a published author.

“Pip was particularly interested in birds and plants and flowers but he also had a very quirky sense of humour so there are some very humorous prints in there too,” Gloria says.

Guest speaker Jeremy Moore will be there to address the crowd on opening night. Jeremy was part of the Woomera Lawyers Group which ran a legal outpost at Woomera detention facility.

“Jeremy knows about refugees; the plight that they’re in on the journeys that they have to take,” Gloria says.

Manresa Circle (Circle 117) was formed by a group of like-minded people who support and guide a family of asylum seekers.

“They arrived five years ago with no income, no language, and they didn’t know their way around.  You can imagine all the things that they had to go through; they weren’t entitled to Centrelink, just Medicare and education for the children,” Gloria says.

“They only recently gained permanent residency and have part time work. They’re gradually becoming independent and assimilating. It’s been a long, hard journey. You just have to try to put yourself in their shoes.”

The doors to opening night will open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Art will be sold at on a first come, first served basis.

“We have no idea how many people will turn up,” Gloria says. “It could be 10 or it could be 500. We’re open for the weekend so people will probably trickle through, especially after Masses (in St Ignatius Church).”

Art Exhibition and Sale, St Ignatius Church Hall, 137 William St, Norwood. Friday February 23 from 6.30pm with guest speaker, then Saturday 24 February from 10am to 7pm, and Sunday 25 February from 9an to 2pm,


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